Meeting Of Denaby Main Miners – Sliding Scale

March 1881

March 18th

Meeting Of Denaby Main Miners.

Mr. Chappell And The Sliding-Scale Versus Strike.

A meeting of the Denaby Main miners was held at the Mason´s Arms, on Friday, to take into consideration the adoption of the sliding-scale, as agreed to at Manvers Main Colliery.

Mr. Cooper presided, Mr. Chappell attended, and gave a long address, which was well received. He commenced by stating that he had that week been trying to get Mr. Warburton, the manager of the colliery, to agree to the arrangement of a sliding-scale for the regulation of wages, and he had empowered him to tell his men that he was prepared to be guided by the scale in force at Manvers Main Colliery, without having accountants to examine his books. (Hear, hear)

He (Mr. Chappell), came with confidence before that meeting, believing all those present looked upon a sliding-scale as the most sensible and satisfactory mode of regulating wages.

He would ask, what had they got by past strikes in South Yorkshire ?

Had they benefited the miner ?

He contended they had not, but quite the contrary. They had lost by strikes, and if they had attempted to resist reductions they had not been successful, and with regard to trade unions, his opinion was that they were not formed to raise funds for times of strikes. It could not be done, If a district like South Yorkshire wanted to fight, a sum of £50,000 would be of very little use. The whole of that would be consumed in four weeks!

In July 1874, the sum of £24,000 was spent by the Union, and a 12 ½ % was lost, whereas if the men had taken advice they would have gotten off with 5%. Mr. Normansall did his best to prevent a strike then, but he was unsuccessful. All their fightings had been a failure, and it was utterly impossible for a union to provide funds for ordinary liabilities and also support so extensive a district as South Yorkshire.

He thought there was a relationship between masters and men that called for a more responsible way of doing their business, than the way which had been adopted hitherto, and that was the principle of the sliding-scale. ( Hear, hear )

He was fully persuaded of this in his own mind, once he was borne out in his idea by eminent authorities on the matter.

After a short discussion, it was unanimously resolved, ” That this meeting is convinced that the sliding-scale will be the best arrangement we can make, but that the final decision be postponed until next week : and that in the meantime a deputation consisting of Messrs. Cooper, Goulding, Dainty and Blunt, see the manager and complete arrangements, which shall be laid before the next meeting for confirmation.”

Mr. Rymer, of Wombwell having addressed the meeting, the proceedings were terminated.